Vandals Fall to North Texas in Opener - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals Fall to North Texas in Opener

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© University of Idaho Athletics © University of Idaho Athletics

DENTON, Texas (AP) - Derek Thompson threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns in North Texas University's dominating 40-6 victory over Idaho in the season opener for both teams Saturday.

Thompson completed 23 of 27 passes and contributed to the Mean Green's 591 total yards. North Texas running back Brandin Byrd scored two touchdowns on 57 yards rushing. Idaho scored first but Byrd's first touchdown for the Mean Green started a 34-point scoring run that Idaho could not answer the rest of the game.

The Vandals' Chad Chalich threw a quick touchdown pass to Jake Manley in the first possession of the game for Idaho's only points. The extra point kick was blocked. Chalich threw 19-for-27 for 230 yards. Idaho picked up 11 penalties throughout the game that cost them 95 yards. Head coach Paul Petrino's debut was a disappointing start to the Vandals' season.

Below is a write-up by the University of Idaho:

DENTON, Texas – A strong start didn't carry through for the Idaho Vandals in their 2013 debut at North Texas where they lost 40-6 in a non-conference game Saturday night.

"We hurt ourselves," coach Paul Petrino said after a game during which the Vandals had 11 penalties and three lost fumbles. "More than anything, we got our butts kicked up front."

The Vandals' first drive of the season was successful with fullback Jake Manley scoring on a six-yard pass from redshirt freshman Chad Chalich for the 6-0 lead with 13 minutes left in the game. Austin Rehkow's first collegiate PAT attempt, however, was blocked and Idaho was left with the 6-0 lead. The big play in the scoring drive was a 59-yard pass from Chalich to tight end Mike LaGrone. LaGrone fumbled at the end of the play but Clayton Homme was on hand to recover the ball deep in UNT territory.

The Vandals recovered the ball on the ensuing onside kick but were unable to capitalize or gain any momentum.

"It's about 11 guys doing their job together," Petrino said. "We hit a couple big plays. There we some we could have hit. It's sad when you leave them out there."

In his collegiate debut, Chad Chalich completed 19 of 27 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown. Transfer Dezmon Epps was on the receiving end of seven for 89 yards. The Vandals covered 160 yards on the ground with transfer Jerrel  Brown going for 70 on six carries and Chalich accounting for 42 on 16.

"We kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Millan said.

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